Today, we are rolling up our sleeves and digging deep into the world of research. As a group, please take a second to do the following:
1. Create a page in your TB called "RESEARCH BREAKDOWN"
2. Create a box at the top and complete this statement as a group "To me, research is . . . "
3. Share ideas as a class.
4. Now, create a second box entitled "How do we do it?" and come up with at least 3 bulleted steps your group thinks are necessary for meaningful research.
5. Create a third box and research "THE BIG 6". As a group, take notes in TB and decide what steps really need to be made to effectively research. Try these links for help: Cambridge Rindge and Latin School's Big 6 Guide,
Kent School System, KYVL Organizer, and the Calloway County Middle School Big 6 Organizer.
Now that you've thought about the method, take a few minutes to reflect on your topic. In your TB, create a new page called, "My Crimes Against Humanity" Research Brainstorm. At the top, begin working through your thesis. If you get stuck, look back at your notes or go to this organizer by Jim Burke. Once you have a solid working thesis, your next step is to outline your ideas and begin research (outline templates), (more outline templates) using notecards (either electronic or handmade). I use Hughes Middle School's step by step notecard process. Check it out. I also use this resource from New Berlin Schools. When all else fails, I go to this handy-dandy packet from Fayette County Schools. I've found it helpful!
Whew - this seems scary, I know. It's not. Remember, you're safe in here "to learn, discover, and understand."
Have fun with this. I'm here - let me know how I can help you. Comment below to let me know how the process went today.
I'm enjoying your work in this unit, especially the classroom discussion around the unit's theme. Thank you for participating in your literature circle groups and sharing your ideas in whole-group discussions.
By now you probably have an idea for a possible "Crime against Humanity" you want to research. Please respond to this post and do the following:
A. What topic would you like to research? Remember, your research doesn't have to be limited to the Holocaust.
B. Which essential question will you use to guide your research?
Be sure to check your response using C-U-P-S.
This week we began of our new unit called, "Crimes Against Humanity." This unit will be historical, and you will write both argumentative and an informative papers. Since our anchor text will be John Boyne's The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, we will spend quite a bit of time researching the main crime against humanity that everyone should be familiar with . . . The Holocaust, which occurred from 1941-1945. This was a genocide orchestrated by Adolf Hitler which targeted people of the Jewish religion. Unfortunately, this was not the first or last genocide which has occurred throughout history. Luckily, there were a few survivors of this tragedy that were willing to share their stories with the world. We are so lucky to be able to have first-hand accounts of this tragedy available to us. This week, I would like you to use some time to research The Holocaust and refresh yourself about what happened. Then, I would like you to look up a survivor of The Holocaust and read his/her story. Please comment back with with the survivor's name and a summary of their story. Go HERE to find interesting links.
Remember: You will not receive credit for comments that do not adhere to the C.U.P.S. rules or that are off topic. Please take the time to check your work before you post.
I'm looking forward to this awesome new unit!
Yesterday was a good day. It was one of those days I left school feeling on top of my game . . . like I could teach the world!
Why was yesterday so great? Yesterday was all about the kids. They ran class and collaborated like professionals. Working in teams of three, students participated in a collegial discussion that could rival one at Murray State.
I witnessed students discuss a range of issues stemming from our reading of and about S.E. Hinton's timeless work The Outsiders. Each student assumed three possible roles: pilot, co-pilot, or tower control. Once roles were explained, students took off and began discussing questions we developed as a class. As a team, students collaborated to share information with one another and build on the opinions of others. Although a little uncomfortable at times (awkward silences are, well, awkward!), the overall discussion groups exceeded way beyond my expectations. I am both humbled by and proud of my students as they accepted my challenge, reached deeper than they've ever been asked to reach, and demonstrated true growth in analyzing a text and EFFECTIVELY using textual evidence to support their ideas.
Students, could you please share about yesterday's experience. What do you think about the 3-group setting? How do you feel about your ability to communicate in a setting like yesterday's class? How important to you is talking about a text versus just reading one?
Parents and colleagues, as always, please feel free to join in the conversation.
Thank you! I look forward to hearing from you.
I love word clouds. Call me the epitome of "nerdiness," but there's something really fun about entering words in a computer and watching them take life in a word cloud.
So, today I want you to experiment with word clouds. You may either use Tagzedo or Wordle (unless you have another super-cool resource). Please follow these steps:
1. Decide on either Tagzedo or Wordle.
2. Brainstorm words that define your blog (be sure to include the title).
3. Enter those words and "voila" - enjoy your word cloud!
4. Save your word cloud in your student folder.
5. Print and turn in!
Next, after steps 1-5 are complete, you're ready to tackle "Copyright Scenarios." Get a copy of this from Mrs. Barrett. Once that's finished, turn in the handout.
Last, but certainly not least, REFLECT on today's activity by commenting here.. What did you learn? How are you beginning to grow in the area of technology? How was today challenging for you? Easy?
Once you've posted your comment, you're ready to work on your blog.
I totally get it! I mean, why in the world would a middle school teacher expect her students to blog? It's not like students know how to maneuver through the world of the Internet or anything.
You wouldn't believe how many people have told me middle school kids CANNOT and SHOULD NOT blog. This year, like last year and the year before, I anxiously anticipate the many ways my classes will prove the detractors wrong.
Before we get started, though, I need to hear from you. Please comment on this post by responding to these questions:
1. What ideas do you have for a blog?
2. What blogs have you visited today that interest you?
Please take the time to check out my blogging information, rubric, and tips!
Have fun and Happy Blogging!
I don't know about you, but I struggle sometimes with receiving feedback. Maybe it's that feeling of being judged, or perhaps it's the whole "peer" thing, but in the past I have experienced true fear when expected to peer review. How do I handle the non-worker? What do I do if someone says something I don't understand? Will they like and appreciate my work? Are they judging me? Am I as good as they are? Sadly, these questions and many more have plagued me over the years.
Consequently, I have also questioned my ability to review others. Who am I to evaluate my peers? Do I even know what I'm talking about? Oh, and my personal favorite (and biggest nemesis), Why would they listen to me? As I watched classes collaborate with peers on Tuesday, I noticed something really astounding - you guys worked at a very high level, meticulously scrutinizing your peers' papers with the confidence of a professional teacher. As my pastor, Bro. Ricky, would say, "Wow!" Of your own volition, you successfully reviewed your peers' papers with authority and professionalism. Walking around the room, I no longer saw you as students fraught with "collaboration fear" but watched you evolve into reflective writers. That's simply amazing.
Speaking of reflection, I wonder - how do you view the peer review sessions? What do you think your role is in peer evaluation? Additionally, what do you think about embedding social media and technology into our workshop? Are there ways I could make this process more effective?
As always, please comment. I love hearing what you have to say!
We all have stories. Over the course of the near-eighteen years I've been an educator, I've been exposed to all kinds of stories. Whether the stories are sad and depressing or upbeat and inspirational, I find each and every story special. This year, though, I'm especially encouraged by one of our very own - Mr. Carson Chapman.
Take a second and read this week's St. Jude Patient spotlight. After reading this article, comment by answering the following:
What inspires you?
I love art! Just like a good poem, most art speaks to me in some way. Take Grant Wood's American Gothic for instance. Every time I look at this artist's work, I find a new story. Sometimes I think this is about the wife; other times I think it's about the husband. No matter what, though, I always find something in a work of art to talk about.
Today, I want you to think about the tone of Wood's American Gothic. If you don't know what tone is, take a few minutes to search that term. Writers, artists (or even a moms!) use tone everyday to evoke a feeling or emotion in their audiences. Please comment by telling me:
1. What's the tone of American Gothic? Tell me why you think that by using "textual evidence".
2. How does this TONE make you feel?
Kimberly Barrett, NBCT, Bachelor of Arts of English, Murray State University, 1996, Master's Degree in English, MSU, 2004
Blessed to teach since 1996, I spend my days doing exactly what I've always wanted to do . . . TEACH. I'm married to the sweetest man alive, Tim, and we have two beautiful babies, Marlee Rose and Beau Wilson.